NFL Analyst Slams Ex-Patriots QB and Former MVP: ‘You Can’t Play’

Getty Cam Newton

Will former New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton ever play in the NFL again? Fox Sports analyst Doug Gottlieb says no, and he put some energy into the denial.

In a response to a take on Newton from Undisputed’s Shannon Sharpe, Gottlieb no sold the former NFL MVP’s chances to play in the league again on Fox Sports Radio:

“I called this back with the Patriots when they signed him, and he had that one good game vs. Seattle,” Gottlieb said. “He can’t throw a football, guys, he just can’t. He’s not going to play in the NFL because he was never accurate and now, he can’t even throw a football. If you can’t throw a football, you can’t play. He’s never been a reader of defenses, he’s taken a savage beating, and he’s a gigantic body and a great athlete, but obviously that’s been limited from how many hits he’s taken. He was the Rookie of the Year, the MVP, and he’s been to the Super Bowl – is he a Hall of Famer? I don’t even get the ‘aura’ people are talking about, like what aura? I think Cam thinks he has an aura and I think there are guys that look up to Cam, but the proof is in the pudding, he hasn’t thrown a football well in years.”

You can hear the entire segment here.

Have We Seen the Last of Cam Newton in the NFL?

Newton is only 33 years old. There are currently four projected starters in the league (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford) who are older. Two of the four guys in that group are unquestioned Hall-of-Famers, the other two are borderline and you could make the same argument for Newton with his MVP and rushing accomplishments.

Still, the odds are seemingly stacked against Newton, who remains a free agent after he finished the season with the Carolina Panthers, following being released by the Patriots just before Week 1 of the 2021 season.

Newton’s production, sans a few strong performances for the Patriots in 2020 and one spirited game with the Panthers in 2021, have been spotty. A bout with COVID and struggles with Josh McDaniels’ offense seemingly derailed his only season in New England after a strong start.

New England seemed more interested in getting the ball in the hands of Mac Jones, their young franchise quarterback and less willing to build around a veteran QB like Newton whose specific skill set needs to be augmented by the playcaller for maximum success.

Newton’s mystique and pride could potentially limit his willingness to play a backup role in the NFL, and that perception could be the biggest reason he doesn’t have an NFL job. Also, Newton doesn’t appear to be without an avenue to continue living the lifestyle of an athlete/celebrity.

Without the monetary need to take an NFL job Newton may not have the motivation to accept a back-up role where his path to the field isn’t a clear one.

Patriots May Have 99 Problems, But QB Ain’t One

The Patriots don’t have much drama or indecision at quarterback these days. Second-year pro Mac Jones is in great shape physically. He’s seemingly more confident and poised for what some expect to be a big-time sophomore season in the NFL.

Jones has seemingly established himself as the unquestioned leader of the offense. That’s an impressive feat for a player just heading into his second year in the NFL. While Jones may be expected to have a strong year, the Patriots will still need solid performances from the players the organization has given the young QB.

The 2022 season is crucial for players like Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor. After signing sizable free-agent deals ahead of last season, neither player made the sort of impact expected. The Patriots traded for DeVante Parker this offseason in hopes that he could be the team’s top outside passing option.

New England also drafted speedy wide receiver Tyquan Thornton out of Baylor to add some much-needed explosiveness to the offense. There are a lot of contingencies to success for New England’s offense in 2022, but it all starts with Jones.

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